Howling winds, biting snow slanting across the yard…doesn’t look like I’m going anywhere today.
Think I’ll head out to my little studio.
A perfect place to spend a cold wintry day, don’t you think?
I bundle up and step outside.
3′ snowdrifts everywhere…someone’s going to have to shovel a lot of snow.
That would be moi`.
I clear away drifts by the door, the deck, the steps. I don’t even consider clearing the back walkway. An hour later I’m tired, hot and not even close to my studio.
It would be easy to give up; give in to feelings of overwhelm. My tired back joins my Lizard Brain in a whining refrain…”you’re kidding, right?” Too tired to think, I lean on the shovel and take a break.
“PLAY? PLAY? Not Work?” Lizard Brain is all ears.
My batteries are recharging already.
I tune into Kaizen-Muse™.
Developed by Jill Badonsky, the Kaizen-Muse ™ Creativity Coaching model combines these 2 aspects-
Kaizen: A Japanese word meaning “continuous improvement with small steps.” Muse: A bearer of creative inspiration.
Backstory: Apparently, one fine day in a coffee shop, as the story goes, Jill made the glorious discovery of her 9 Modern Day Muses and a Bodyguard. These ‘life’ companions come complete with Tools and help clear creative blocks, (overwhelm, procrastination, perfectionism, self-sabotage, fear of failure, success and comparison…you get the drift. Ahh- pardon the pun).
Years later, on yet another fine day- though not in a coffee shop, I met Jill, the 9 Muses, the Bodyguard and Kaizened right into the best of my life.
Every day, I use KMCC™ for many things, creative or not…like clearing a path that is completely blocked by snow. (Now there’s a metaphor for life.)
Anxious to get at it, Lizard Brain is prodding me with my shovel, “c’mon, c’mon…let’s play.”
Game On! I choose a few KMCC™ Tools.
Break it Down.
Looks like I’ve already broken this big job down into sections… my path is the last area to shovel. Way to go. I’ll make it even simpler and break the path into 3 parts, no 5…Beginning, REST, Middle, REST, and End. Lizard Brain is lovin’ this.
Ask small questions.
Did I ask Small Questions? Oh ya…Can I use my favorite shovel to do this?
Lizard Brain’s raises an eyebrow and smugly says,”Dawnie, your favorite shovel is the small grain shovel…you know…the one you use for G.R.A.I.N., not snow.”
I am so.o.o tempted to throw a snowball at him.
Instead I just reply, ” So What? It’s my favorite shovel. I’ll use it anyways.”
Use the power of Small Steps and Creative Foreplay ™
Small Step: Pick up the shovel. Right.
It’s nice, light and the perfect size for me. I feel the ease as it cuts effortlessly through the snow, revealing a little more of my studio path with each scoop. With a quick toss snow crystals dance in the bright sunshine as they arc downward, settling into the growing snowbank. Even Lizard Brain is smiling…he likes the flash of shiny aluminum as I bring the shovel back around for the next small load of snow.
Creative Foreplay: Imagine that…
I imagine that every slice through the packed snow is like digging deep into the earth, soon to reveal glorious buried treasure.
Lo and behold, the next slice of snow does just that.
I see a sparkle… What’s this? A cavern, a snow tunnel that leads me to gold…light at the end of the snow tunnel.
By now, I’m at Part 4- REST.
Sure, my back’s a bit tired but in 10 minutes I’ll be done. Lizard Brain gave up any resistance to the game when we discovered the tunnel. Right now he’s sunbathing on top of the snowbank…I’m still tempted to throw a snowball at him- this time just for fun.
I finish clearing the path and decide to add one more Small Step to this game of Kaizen and the Muses…A Small Reward.
Heading back into the house, I make myself a steaming cup of freshly brewed tea. Pulling on a cozy sweater and toque, I slap on my sunglasses, grab one piece of chocolate for Lizard Brain and one piece of chocolate for me, head outside and step lightly down the studio path and into my creativity.
Or as Jill Badonsky would say…Way Cool!
Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out here. Dawn Kotzer, Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engages Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.